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ENGL 2508: Virginia Woolf

Research guide for students in Steve Arata's spring 2022 ENGL 2508 class on Virginia Woolf.

Online Resources of Possible Interest

The Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP) "is a critical digital archive of early twentieth-century publishing history. [. . .] The MAPP collection is constantly growing and currently contains thousands of images from archives and special collections relating to Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press including: letters, dust jackets, financial records, paper samples, illustrations, sketches, production sheets, and ephemera. These newly digitized materials are presented along with peer-reviewed biographies, bibliographical information, and other scholarly materials " (from MAPP About page).

Woolf in the World: A Pen and Press of Her Own was an exhibition held at Smith College in 2003. Accompanying digitized materials including manuscripts, books, and more are still available on the site. 

The British Library has digitized some of its collection of Woolf novels, notebooks, letters and more. 


Researching the reception history of Woolf's works

There are many different ways to approach finding both contemporary and newer reviews of Woolf's novels and works. This section will highlight a few. 

1. Books / Ebooks 

2. Secondary Source Databases

The database Orlando includes snippets of critical reviews peppered throughout the list/timeline of Virginia Woolf's writings. 

You might find articles or books listed in MLA International Bibliography that discuss the reception or review of a particular title. 

3. Primary Source Databases

Finally, you can access some of our primary source periodical and newspaper databases to look for contemporary reviews of Woolf's novels and other works. For a list of other newspaper and periodical collections of  possible interest, see the Primary Sources - Find Historical Newspapers, Periodicals, Diaries, & More tab of the English Language & Literature Guide. 

Times Literary Supplement (TLS) Historical Archive includes the complete online fully-searchable edition of the TLS from the first edition in 1902 through 2019. 

PAO: Periodicals Archive Online allows you to search the full text of nearly 400 international humanities and social sciences journals published from 1770 to the 1990s. 

JSTOR also includes historical publications, so run a search in this database and limit your results to the time period just after the work was published to find contemporary reviews. 

British Periodicals includes hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth (some up to 1939), reproduced in high-resolution facsimile page images. The periodicals cover literature and the arts, as well as philosophy, history, science, and social science.

British Library Newspapers includes newspapers sourced from the extensive holdings of the British Library. It includes over 160 newspaper titles that span up into the twentieth century. 

ProQuest Historical Newspapers includes key newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Defender, Chicago Tribune, Norfolk Journal and Guide, Pittsburgh Courier, NY Amsterdam News, Baltimore Afro-American, Washington Post, and The Guardian & The Observer.

Researching the publication history of a book

In addition to biographical and reception information, the records in Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles also include detailed information on publication, particularly initial publication information, for works by Woolf and others.

Others have compiled information on Woolf publications, including: 

View other resources for finding publication history for 20th-century books in the Publishing History section of the 20th-Century American Bestsellers guide created by John Unsworth. 

Finding editions we own at UVA and owned by other Libraries

Virgo is UVA Library's catalog. Search Virgo for  editions of Woolf's books held at the University of Virginia or through one of our database collections. 

WorldCat is a vast union catalog, containing listings of books, journals, manuscripts, and other materials in thousands of libraries worldwide. Searching WorldCat may help you to find:

  • subsequent (or earlier) editions of your work
  • translations of your work
  • other works by the book/chapbook's author or illustrator
  • archival material related to the author

If you find an item in WorldCat that the UVA library doesn't own, you can request it through interlibrary loan (note that some materials, such as rare books, cannot be loaned).

More about Hogarth Press